A Proposal For The Carolina/Clemson Rivalry

Those of us who have grown up in the state of South Carolina know the rivalry between the University of South Carolina Fighting Gamecocks and the Clemson Tigers for what it is:  one of the most bitter, emotionally supercharged and longest-running rivalries in all of college sports.  Those who have not been born into this war, even fans familiar with the college football landscape, are awestruck with the level of passion and intensity it inspires, often comparing it to the great rivalries from across the nation; Miami/Florida State, Texas/Oklahoma and the gold standard of college sports hatred, Alabama/Auburn.  Yet, our annual in-state contest remains something of a secret to most of the nation, despite being the third-longest running rivalry in college football.  Our big game doesn’t even have a proper name, allowing it to be eclipsed by contests with catchy handles like the Iron Bowl, The Red River Rivalry, and the Backyard Brawl.  The Trophy for which we compete is shameful:  The Hardees Trophy, an appallingly commercial award that is steeped in no tradition and says nothing about the State of South Carolina or the passion with which we approach our teams.  The last tradition of the rivalry that was unique and appealing ended half a century ago.  I’m speaking of Big Thursday, an event that combined the biggest game of the year with the state fair, and was uniquely South Carolinian.  One can only imagine a timeline in which Big Thurday was allowed to survive and thrive, perhaps to represent our state AT LEAST as well as the Egg Bowl does Mississippi, but alas, it was not meant to be.

Looking around the country, several rivalries have captured the imagination of the nation, even when played between teams that don’t have the talent or success of our in-state schools.  Teams play for delightfully funky trophies like giant axes, oaken buckets, bejeweled Shillelaghs, a platypus, wagon wheels and golden hats.  Engaging monikers capture the imagination: The Apple Cup, The Backyard Brawl, The Civil War, The Iron Bowl, The Duel in the Desert, Farmageddon.  A full list of rivalry games and trophies can be found here, and a quick look at the fun of these rivalry names and trophies makes clear what is wonderful about college football, and why USC/Clemson is overlooked by the nation at large.  Our big game is listed as “The Battle of the Palmetto State”, a title I’ve heard used to describe the game, but never used as the name of the game itself.  This name is wanting.  Could you not call ANY in-state rivalry “The Battle of the [insert state nickname here] state”?  Where’s the originality?  Where’s the fun?  Even calling the game “The Palmetto Bowl” would be preferable.


The most profound shame lies with the Hardee’s Trophy.  I could almost live with such a blatantly commercial corporate monstrosity if THE CORPORATION WAS ACTUALLY BASED IN THE STATE.  A trophy provided by an in-state corporate donor would at least say something about what our state has to offer, but Hardees’ corporate offices are in St. Louis, and can be nothing more than a shabby exploitation of our biggest game perpetrated by out-of-state interests that cannot understand or respect the rivalry.  The very existance of the Hardee’s Trophy cheapens the rivalry.  It should be discontinued immediately.  Winning the Hardees Trophy is like setting an Olympic record and recieving McDonalds gift certificates instead of a gold medal.  It’s like knocking out Mike Tyson and getting a Bud light coozie.  It’s disgraceful.

I offer a solution.  It is a solution in which I ask your help.  Starting a new tradition is a tricky business.  Most college traditions grow out of random circumstance and eventually reach holy status after time.  To conciously create a tradition requires the willingness and support of the fan bases on a grass roots level, coupled with a good idea, of course.  I believe I have such an idea.

The South Carolina State flag is striking in its simplicity, and instantly recognizable to anyone remotely familiar with it.  The lone palmetto tree and crescent moon are the most evocative symbols of our state, and should figure into the symbology of the tradition we are designing.  So, should we make a palmetto tree trophy and let the winner of the USC/Clemson game hold it until the next game?

No, I say.  I’m thinking bigger.

I propose the commission of two bronze palmetto tree statues, one to be located at Williams-Brice Stadum, and the other at Death Valley.  Each tree should be around ten feet tall, and identically cast.  Each tree should have a spot on top where a scale crescent moon, also bronze, could be affixed; and every year, Carolina and Clemson should play for that moon.

Imagine:  Our big game would have a truly unique trophy to compete for, a trophy that could be displayed to the public year round, and even in losing years the lone palmetto still serves as a symbol of the state.  Imagine ceremonies for the removal and presentation of a giant bronze moon to a winning team.  Imagine ceremonies for the affixation of the moon to a previously bare tree.  This could be really fun stuff.

To the best of my knowledge, nobody else in the country would have an arrangement like this.  Suddenly our rivalry would have an identity, and in short order, pundits would begin playing on the crescent moon when describing the rivalry.  “The Battle for the Carolina Moon” has a ring to it, don’t you think?  How about “The Moon Bowl”?  There are many possibilities here.  Losing coaches would “promise the moon” for next year, “the moon rises”  on the victor.  I believe that this proposal would add a much needed bit of originality and fun to our rivalry.

So here is what I ask of you.  Tell everybody.  Spread this idea around your workplaces, your message boards, your local radio call-in shows.  Run it by your family, your friends.  Let’s see if we can retire that Hardee’s embarrassment, and replace it with something more befitting our favorite rivalry.  Can we get the Universities to agree?  Can we raise the funds?  I don’t know, but I’d really like to try.

Thoughtful Gamecock is now dedicated to the replacement of the Hardee’s Trophy with the Carolina Moon, and will accept any support you may have to offer.  We have begun writing letters to the various persons of importance at both universities (Board of Trustees, Presidents, Athletic Directors, booster clubs) and lack only a buzz among fans of both teams.

For this buzz, I come to you.  Share this post with everyone who may care, talk about this proposal wherever you can.  Offer us feedback on the idea, help us get this proposal into the public sports dialogue.

For your support in this matter, I thank you.


UPDATE:  Sign the petition!


Posted on June 22, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 190 Comments.

  1. if they paint the moon blue we can call it the Blue Moon Bowl and have Blue Moon sponsor it…. 🙂 good idea tho!

  2. “that’s no moon”

  3. Only one problem. No one knows if the crescent on the flag is a moon. More popular suggestions is it’s a gorget or the cadence of the 2nd son. You can’t really base a rivalry on something that isn’t exactly true.

    • “you can’t really base a rivalry on something that isn’t exactly true”

      Wisconsin and Minnesota play for Paul Bunyan’s axe. You’re telling me those stories are true?

      The only problem I see is people stealing the moon, or otherwise defacing it or the tree.

      Put the tree inside the stadium grounds, at least. maybe clemson could finally finish clearing the rocks out of their garden and plant it there.

      • I can’t say anything about USC, but it would be safe at Clemson. Howard’s Rock stayed here totally unprotected for years–after the recent fiasco it’s in bulletproof glass with no less than four security cameras on it 24/7.

    • Actually it is a crescent moon (why it is the crescent phase though, is beyond me) it was established –if my memory serves me correctly– in honor to the Spartan regiment during the Revolutionary war who specialized in fighting against the British by using the light of the moon… hence, also the city’s name Spartanburg.

  4. That being said, I love the idea. You just can’t really name it anything with “moon” in the title.

  5. Booshwah. Of course you can. Regardless of absolute historical accuracy, it’s widely understood by the general public to be a moon, it’s shaped like a moon and anyone who looks at it will understand it as a moon.

    Naming it with the prehaps more accurate moniker “The Battle for the Cadence of the second son” would, I think be far more confusing to the average observer than anything else. Ditto to “The gorget bowl”.

    As a fan of history, I am absolutely delighted by your comments.

  6. How about the clash for the crescent?

  7. Outstanding, Mike! It rolls off the tongue! I love that people are already troubleshooting and adding their personal spins on this idea. This kind of response is usually an indicater that you have something good going on

  8. If only it were a crescent moon; each year the teams could “Shoot for the Moon.” As it is, instead, a gorget, they could try to “Collar the Collar.”

  9. This would be awesome. Great idea man.

  10. I’m all for this. The Hardee’s trophy means nothing to USC or Clemson fans. This would add much needed significance to the rivalry and provide the winner of the game with a trophy they can be proud to bring home.

  11. Great idea man!

    I made a petition for the idea with a link to this article here:


    Once again, brilliant idea, spread the link around!

    • Thank you for helping us out Ryan! We have the links up in a new post now! Keep spreading the word! Message boards, Radio call-in shows and whatever else you can think of!

  12. I like it – I just don’t see the need to make the cresent portable. I believe it will stay where it is.

  13. why not same idea just call it Battle of the Bronze….because as others said its not really a moon and to not know our flag history would be bad. the idea is solid, but maybe a new name…Bronze bowl, battle for the bronze crescent, Battle of the Bronze. Bronze Rivalry…idk

  14. People, it’s a moon. It looks like a moon, it’s hung above the palmetto like a moon, it’s a moon. Even Justin said “no one know IF it’s a moon,” which means it very well originally could have been a moon. If it was meant to be a gorget, why is it hung on the flag like a moon? Regardless, this day in age, at this moment in time, it’s a moon.

    • It COULD be a moon. In all reality, there’s about a 5% chance it is. There’s a much bigger chance that it’s the cadence mark of a second son. It is confusing the way it is positioned on the flag, but it’s very unlikely to be a moon.

      If we’re basing a rivalry on it, you must call it a crescent. Not a moon. And no offense to the author, but the “Battle for the Carolina Moon” sounds like a sappy war romance novel.

      “Clash of the Crescent” would be awesome.

  15. Baseball has the Reedy River Rivalry…….

  16. A good looking version of our flag…

    In addition, though anybody can Google it, here’s a little more history info regarding our flag,,,

    Flag of South Carolina

    Like I said (and yeah I know you already know! ;-p), there’s a lot of ways to look into such “stuff”, Google being an option. Just thought I’d post this here. FWIW IMHO, I actually like the concept this article addresses!



  17. A good looking version of our flag can been seen with that link.

    In addition, though anybody can Google it, here’s a little more history info regarding our flag,,,

    Flag of South Carolina

    Like I said (and yeah I know you already know! ;-p), there’s a lot of ways to look into such “stuff”, Google being just one option. Just thought I’d post this here.

    FWIW and IMHO, I actually like the concept this article addresses!



    P.S. And Mod(s), sorry I had to post this thrice before I got it right!! (O_~)

  18. the Reedy River Rivalry crap is just that…. crap… the media in Greenville made that junk up. That’s the most gay thing I’ve ever heard.

  19. Call the game…The Crecent Moon Rivalry

  20. uscjschoolgrad

    Either call it Big Thursday or nothing at all. The rivalry between the teams IS Big Thursday. Any other new name is just a fad that will die off.

  21. I think to truly bring the history of the rivalry to the trophy you would have to emphasize each school’s record somehow. i.e. add a notch or “bark” to the tree to represent each school’s victory.

  22. Nice article. Like the idea. How about “The Crescent Moon Melee”

  23. Or how about the “Crescent Moon Clash” or the “Crescent Moon Conflict” haha!

  24. As an aside, and I am a great supporter of this as a Clemson fan, I would suggest the game always be played under the moon (at night) and palmetto fronds be handed out to the winning team along with whatever statuary.

  25. That’s no moon on the flag. But it would be simple enough to call it that I guess.

  26. Great idea, thoughtful gamecock. I can just hear Musberger or some other Game Day hyperator describing the mob scene as ” Lunar Lunacy”, the Jumbotron at Death Valley having a Tiger do the Moonwalk as the clock is ticking down, tee shirts that say “Go ahead, MOON MY DAY” or “MOON ME IF YOU MUST”, a last second 55 yard winning field goal described in the State Paper as THE MOON SHOT or the Greenville News calling a blowout a TOTAL ECLIPSE, the bands playing Sinatra’s Fly Me To The Moon or Pink Floyd’s Dark Side. The plays are limitless.
    P.S. The nickname of the wife of one of our most colorful and esteemed past Presidents,R.C. Edwards, was — MOON PIE.

  27. I love it. I hope my fellow Tiger fans love it as much as I do. I posted it on the cutigers.com board, so hopefully it starts to catch on there. Has anyone been able to make an educated guess as to what the project might cost?

  28. It should simply be called The CRESCENT Bowl.

  29. Margaret Bates

    If you don’t like moon, call it a crescent…but I think that this sounds good. As long as it is “affixed” securely against vandals.

  30. The Crescent Cup has a good ring to it I think

  31. How about a cut out of the shape of S.C. with raised palmetto & crest.& a banner to fly on gameday, that says KING OF THE HILL, If u lose the banner has to come down at the end of game and be handed over to the winning team at end of game..

  32. You made a great opening with an appeal to the history of the rivalry, but then you go off in well-meaning but unfocused spin, searching for imagery. But as uscjschoolgrad said, it was Big Thursday. It’s still Big Thursday – we just need to bring that name back into prominence. Who cares if there’s no longer a fair. Or if it’s on a Thursday. Each student body will know exactly what is expected of them the Thursday night before the big game.

    • Let me make sure I have this straight: you think the rivalry can be improved simply by calling it “Big Thursday”, but feel that it doesn’t actually need to played on a Thursday, involve the state fair or any of the trappings of the original Big Thursday. So your idea is an event called Big Thursday that’s played on a Saturday and bears no resembelance to the original Big Thursday.

      Furthermore, despite the fact that Big Thursday has been gone for half a century, and that you have proposed no component to the tradition but a name, you expect that students will know exactly what to do the thursday before the big game.

      My friend, you can’t pick a random day and call it “Christmas”, subtract presents, Santa Clause and the tree and expect that people will know exactly what to do.

      My article may well have been unfocused (I’m no writer, I’m just a guy with a blog) but your respone doesn’t seem to even be coherent.

  33. As a lifelong Gamecock fan with a die hard Tiger boyfriend, I think this idea is awesome! We need something else to fight over 🙂 Also, I’m a public art administrator – meaning I hire artists to do stuff like this and help them work with engineers/architects to make it happen. So if it ever comes to fruition, I’d love to consult on the selection of the artist and the commissioning process.

    Good Job!

  34. How about this for the actual winner….

    Instead of a bronze palmetto tree, it’s a treasure chest or something with a large palmetto on it. Inside the treasure chest are some number of REAL brass (bright, shiny, almost gold like) gorgets that the VICTORS of the game gather at the center of the field after the game, in front everyone at the stadium, the players don the gorgets like trophies… like ceremonial pieces of armor won on the battlefield? Say the players kneel (one one knee, like they are getting knighted) at midfield and the head coach comes to each player and puts the gorget around their neck.

    It could be epic. Imagine the visual of the winners wearing these large, blinged out gorgets around their necks (the’d be sized to be worn over football shoulder pads) and parading around the field in a victory lap?


  35. Wasn’t one of the biggest moments in the Clemson-Carolina Rivalry history when the ROTC programs of each school marched on each other with fixed bayonets? Perhaps it would be proper to to have a bronze rifle with a bayonet instead of the crescent moon.

    Yes, the game is the battle for the Palmetto State, but the “Fixed Bayonets” event is something everyone from Clemson & Carolina knows about, and often use to show the passion between the two fanbases. For those who aren’t familiar with the rivalry, it would be more cool/interesting to see a team celebrating with a bronze gun than with a giant bronze Lucky Charms marshmallow.

    Yea, it’s a giant gun and that may be a little dangerous…but other teams have real axes, so I think we’ll be alright…until we have another fight like in 2004 and someone gets stabbed with the gun.

  36. Here are thoughts on this:

    This rivalry, which annually flies under the radar, is viewed by South Carolinians as being just as heated as the Alabama-Auburn game is in their respective state. I for one either love or hate the day after this contest as it determines my bragging rights (or lack thereof) for the coming 365 days. This game may as well be our state’s Super Bowl. So why do we not have something that symbolizes this greatness?

    That being said, I think we can all agree that no fan, Tiger or Gamecock, gets excited over winning a trophy that may as well have a Thickburger on top. I want to foam at the mouth after winning a trophy that symbolizes the pageantry and tradition of our great state, not a hunk of metal that reminds me that I need to eat after the game. It lacks greatness; and that’s exactly what this trophy needs.

    I enjoyed the idea proposed by the OP, and I really think he’s on to something here. This proposal gives fans on both sides something to be proud to hold up after winning, or something to desire and fight for the next year. I think the idea of having the Moon (or gorget, whatever) incorporated as what each team fight for honors both our schools and our state. Great idea!

    If it were me deciding what would be the final trophy and set-up would be, I would commission an artist to build two realistic and identical Palmetto trees out of some kind of strong crystal material (so that it would retain it’s white color) with a spot left open for the Moon to be placed by that year’s victors. I also imagine it as having the bottom of the tree sitting in a bronze belt that wraps around the base that has “The Official Palmetto Tree of (insert university here)” inscribed into it. To make it more interesting, I would also have the trees embedded with some sort of light fixture on the inside so that when the moon in placed in it’s rightful position, the whole tree (and Moon) would light up. I think that would be pretty slick, but that’s just me. At Clemson, I would place our tree right inside of the entrance to the West Zone, in front of all of the trophies. In Columbia….well they may not have a big trophy room, so I guess they can place it wherever they find suitable (Kidding). I honestly think it would add a touch of class to both universities and still make the Moon something worth fighting over. Plus it adds another “must-see” landmark to each university.

    As for the name of the rivalry game, I’ve seen a lot of good ideas posted on here. I personally don’t mind “The Palmetto Bowl”, but I can see something like “The Battle for the Palmetto Moon” replacing it and giving the game a little more of that epic-sounding tone.

    But these are just my thoughts. I wish this proposal good luck!

  37. I think this idea is great and i am up for it to start this year

  38. I just posted this to Clemson’s Facebook page! I’m in.

  39. nevermind, i didnt.

  40. Does no one besides myself think the crescent has a double meaning? I’m pretty sure our forefathers were much smarter than we are, and could’ve meant the crescent to be a cadence of the second son, but also as the famous carolina moon… I say we run with this idea, name it the Palmetto Bowl to eliminate confusion and arguments (since SC IS the Palmetto State), and call it a day! 🙂

  41. I’m so excited to see such positive feedback on this idea… you’ve got my vote as one of those “raised in SC lifelong Gamecock can’t wait for this one game all year” fans… go for it and I’ll repost for sure… could be the one thing we can agree on with our Clemson “friends”… off the field it’s friendly, on the field it’s… well, a different thing all together… I think my fav I’ve read so far I like the “Clash of the Crescent” but think “Clash FOR the Crescent” would fit this idea best…

  42. Great idea, man. If I were you and this comes to pass, I’d be “braggin’ like I’d captured the moon!”

  43. I think this is a great idea and you can call it anything, the details can be worked out. You have to present it before anything can go through and it makes the schools rivalry seem bigger than just some old exihibition game that you play every year. All the fans from both teams look forward to this game every year and you earn bragging rights, so why not have something to show for those bragging rights.

  44. I love this idea,set this thing in motion. GO COCKS

  45. Crescent Classic. Done.

  46. I like the“The Palmetto Bowl” sounds like a good plan. Just have to see how it goes:) Good Luck with it, we stand behind it. Divided House hold USC/Clemson …lol

  47. If this awesome idea comes to fruition, I hope you/they will consider Lancaster, South Carolina’s own Bob Doster who has created many gorgeous monumental sculptures in the Carolinas:


    And incidentally, my vote is for CLASH FOR THE CRESCENT or THE CRESCENT CONFLICT.

  48. One of the most inspiring articles about the Carolina/Clemson rivalry in a long time. Something we can all agree on.

    I think the Crescent Melee sounds great.

  49. The Crescent Clash

    There should be only one tree with crescent…the whole thing stays by the stadium of the winner…if the winner of the game isn’t holding the tree they can unbolt it and take it with them after the game.

  50. Not a moon dude. It was a piece of armor. And the Gorget Bowl would just confuse people…

  51. No one outside of the state does, or ever will care. Neither school is relevant consistently, and despite my love for SC have grown to accept the fact that the rivalry is only intense because of the sheer hatred. There’s no mutual respect. We’re a bunch of rednecks that blindly support our team, regardless of which side you root for.
    So creating a moon as the symbol of the winning side will still only matter to the people in South Carolina.

    • Mario wins the “Eeyore” prize for most negative post of the day. There’s no harm in trying to raise the profile of the rivalry, right?

      • Read all these posts. What kind of rivalry is it really if we have to “manufacture” interest? People all over the country understand the rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas, Ohio St and Michigan, and Auburn and Alabama. What do they have in common? National rivalry and consistently relevant teams. People don’t care outside of South Carolina….simply calling it the crescent bowl and having a statue to mimick other rivalries is artificial and won’t work.
        In the eyes of the nation we’ll always be a joke until we win the games we’re supposed to win, but the rivalry itself will never compete with those of other rivalries on a national level.

  52. It’s actually not a crescent moon. It’s actually a gorget in my opinion.

  53. aight din. sorta works. me likey. good work and i appreciate the initiative. GO COCKS!!!

  54. Those of us who have grew up with the rivalry knows what its about..I say leave it alone bc our rivalry is different from others no name no bowl no nothing..

  55. I LIKE it! Then Clemson can say they ‘own the moon.’ ;o)

    Seriously. I like the idea.

  56. What would really make this great and provide even more incentive to the winning team is to make it so that the losing team has to have some sort of motorcade or procession from one university to the other, creating a “journey of shame” after which they have to hand deliver the crescent to the winning team’s tree to be ceremoniously handed over to the winning team, and be present when the winning team affixes the crescent atop their palmetto tree. If a team is a repeat winner, the losing team has to send an envoy or group to be present when the repeat winner has the victory ceremony.

  57. Nobody has to “manufacture” this rivalry. Every football fan in the state knows what this rivalry means, no matter what it is called. It isn’t a Gorget (whatever that is) it’s a flippin’ Crescent moon and all the people that have gone to school and taken SC History in 8th grade, knows that is a Crescent Moon.

    I like the idea of the Palmetto Tree outside each stadium. Have someone engrave the year and the score on the winner’s tree. Make sure it’s a permanent fixture. As far as the trophy, make a crystal Palmetto Tree and swap it back and forth between the coaches/teams. Call it the Palmetto playoffs or the Broad River Blowout. It can’t be Big Thursday unless it’s on Thursday.

    • You just said it yourself. “Every fan in the state knows what this rivalry means”….it can’t be considered one of the elite rivalries if people outside the state of SC don’t understand it and don’t care.

    • I don’t know where you went to school but that is NOT a crescent moon! You need to do your homework!

    • If you had actually taken 8th Grade history you’d know that your comment is completely idiotic and ignorant, and that it is NOT a crescent moon. In fact nobody is 100% sure what it is, there are only theories. The only thing historians are sure of is that it is not a crescent moon.

    • SC History is first taught in 3rd grade…and we most definitely DO NOT teach them that it is a “moon.” This coming from a teacher and museum docent that teaches this subject to literally thousands of 3rd graders each year. If you learned something differently during 8th grade, well, then that’s probably why you’re a tiger. 🙂


  59. I love this idea! You should really take this to both colleges and see what can be done to get this approved!!!!!

  60. Sounds like a great idea to me.

  61. As I was reading “The Lunar Bowl” came to mind.

  62. Sounds like an awesome idea! I love the idea of the trophy and wonder if the Philip Simmons Foundation could build it? The trophy would be steeped in SC history to be built by SC’s most famous blacksmith’s shop, (if they still do work like that). Just a thought!

    I love the name Clash for the Crescent!!

    Go Tigers!!!!!!

  63. How bout The Crescent Bowl? The Crescent Roll? Whatever, sounds like fun to me!

  64. Too bad it’s not a crescent moon!!!!!!! Do your homework dude!

  65. Great idea, but how about “The Cresent Bowl”?

  66. Too bad none of the high schoolers thought about taking this idea to the State House during their YIG conference this week. I am ALL for this idea! I think it has real potential and could give everyone in the state something to be proud of. That being said, if we do want it to change and have it go beyond talk, what are the steps that need to be taken so that the right people hear this idea? Do we need to contact the State Legislature? Or the ADs and Presidents? I’d love for this o become a reality so lets figure out how to do just that

  67. I LOVE this idea! GO COCKS!

  68. I’m all for this! But what about calling it the moonshine bowl? It has a ring to it and we who are into the rivalry know that moonshine can be found in and around the tailgate scene of both universities.

  69. The “moon” the writer is referring to is actually a piece of equipment worn by officers, especially during the Battle of Sullivan’s Island (incidentally the same place where the palmetto tree comes in handy and earns its way onto the South Carolina flag). This piece of equipment is called a “gorget.” I actually think this would make the tradition the writer talks about even better, because we could also inform South Carolinians (and many college football fans for that matter) about the history of South Carolina. I really like this idea, so hopefully it will catch on!

  70. can’t poison trees if they’re bronze…

  71. 1st. Love the idea! I’d sign a petition for it.
    2nd. The name – Palmetto Bowl seems most fitting, but I could live with the Crescent bowl or Crescent Challenge. I Can’t get behind anything related to the Moon because……
    3rd. THAT’S NOT A FREAKIN’ MOON!!!!! Has anyone ever heard of the South Carolina State Museum? It’s in Columbia, you should check it out…especially the 4th floor. The FACTUAL story behind the symbols on our beloved flag are all explained there. The crescent is symbolic of the 2nd regiment of the Colonial army which fought under Col. Moultrie to protect Sullivan’s Island. That is also where the Palmetto tree comes from because the fort Col. Moultrie built was made from…you guessed it….Palmetto trees! (Congratulations Rhett…you came the closest!)

  72. Retitle the game “The Uncivil War” and the winning team gets to fly their flag over Fort Sumter for the year.

  73. Im not trying to be a debbie downer, I think we need to have an original name for the best rivalry in the country. But the crescent moon you mention is actually a symbol for a gorget, a n armor piece that was placed around the neck of a soldier. Maybe the “Battle For the Gorget” would be a suitable name or “Gorget Bowl.” South Carolina is known for its hospitality so we could call “The Gentlemen’s Bowl” or perhaps “Hospitality Bowl.” “The Moon Bowl” isn’t a bad name but it wouldn’t go with the History of our state flag that it trying to be portrayed.

  74. I like it! I would like to propose the “Lunar Eclipse Bowl” as it would be a battle over who eclipses the other for the rest of the year. as well as posession of the moon

  75. PS…It is a freakin’ crescent moon. The fact that it also represents something else is interesting know-it-all stuff.

  76. I like the concept, but be forewarnded that some of our more zealous brothers and sisters are almost sure to take the moon analogy quite literally, starting some new and unsavory traditions that hang the the moon in places other than the bronze statues. Then again, when has our state ever ever shied away from unsavory traditions… shoot for the moon!

  77. awesome! As a long time Gamecock, I am on board!

  78. Call it “the palmetto bowl”

  79. Regarding the picture with the hamburger trophy, there is a thing on Photoshop called “magnetic lasso”. You might consider using it.

  80. LOVE the idea! What a wonderful way to positively showcase our rivalry. GOOOOOOOOOOOO COCKS!

  81. I think this is a neat idea! Clemson peeps read even though it came from a “thoughtful Gamecock.”

  82. I LOVE IT!!! I also Love Mike’s suggestion Clash of the Crescent!
    Go Cocks

  83. I love the idea! Not crazy about a name with “moon” in it. Why not something with Palmetto?

    I’d love a proposal to move the game to a non-holiday weekend. I HATE having it right after Thanksgiving.

  84. Fabulous idea!!! I like the names with Crescent or Palmetto much better than the Moon ideas. I also agree that each tree needs to show all the winning years with a small plaque or inscription.

    Would love to see this idea take off and become more than just a great idea!

    Go TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  85. How about call it the Crescent War or Palmetto War, that works regardless if you consider it to be a moon or a gorget, plus it also gives reference to origin of the flag and gives fans a chance to get educated on our history. I think there also might need to be some reference to the actual history of the rivalry between the schools and not just our state. Someone referenced the fight between the ROTC’s of the schools involving drawn rifles with bayonets, maybe that could be a symbol on the crescent/gorget trophy or on the brass/bronze trees with the rifles in a criss-cross pattern. Someone also mentioned bark notches or something of the like that have the winner-score-year for example on the tree of the winner each time they won. Brass/bronze trees, with a crystal crescent. I really hope your movement continues to grow and gains success with the universities. This would be an amazing symbol for our state and our rivalry.

    And oh yeah GO GAMECOCKS!!!!!

  86. “The Crescent Bowl” or “The Crescent Championship”

    (I would be bias in suggesting “The Carolina Crescent” 😉 Go Gamecocks!)

  87. I’m really not concerned with naming the rivalry or how others in the country view this rivalry. I have heard about Alabama & Auburn..hatred comes to mind..and two top teams nationally, most every year. The same goes for Tex & Oak. This year USC vs CU will have a lot of national attention..two of the countrys top teams in the rankings. For the fans here, going to be one of the biggest games…USC has a two game streak and is going for three (will be 40 years last time that happened) Clemson, already division champs, playing for an ACC championship, and now wants to go into that game as State Champions. It’s all about football and bragging for a year, or two, or three. If USC and Clemson become ranked teams year after year, and win division and conference championships the more national exposure, the more heated the rilvery. GO TIGERS!

  88. I like this idea! I’ll have to share this with my brother he is very talented and may be able to come up with some good ideas! Go Gamecocks!!

  89. This is a excellent idea. I also think this should be a night game always. It’s electric playing in the bright lights back as grass roots of Friday night lights. I like the palmetto bowl name also!!

  90. The lone palmetto tree and crescent moon are the most evocative symbols of our state, and should figure into the symbology of the tradition we are designing……..

    “Symbology?, now that Duffy has relinquished his King Bonehead crown I see we have an heir to the throne. I’m sure the word you were looking for was “symbolism”.

  91. I love this idea, but since there seems to be a lot of controversy about the crescent moon part of it, why not focus on the Palmetto tree, and commission the large state symbol statue, but only one of them, and the winning team gets to display this “sacred” state symbol for that year. The Palmetto Bowl is my vote. Everyone knows we are the Palmetto state.

    Go Tigers!

  92. I like tigerpride1’s idea of having a permanent Palmetto tree outside each stadium and swapping a crystal Palmetto tree to the winning team at the conclusion of the game.

    In my opinion we should forget the controversial crescent moon; it would be cumbersome at best to incorporate it into a permanent stature of the Palmetto tree, so let’s go with the Palmetto tree for our Palmetto state.

    I do not like the thought of calling the rivalry the moon bowl or crescent bowl, it should be called either “The Palmetto Bowl” or “The Palmetto State Bowl”.

    I’m all in with the Palmetto tree idea!

  93. Shared and I’m going to blog about this as well! Thanks for suggesting a great idea!

  94. I’m not one for using cliches in my daily verse…but this would be nothing short of EPIC!! I have been a Gamecock fan all my life. I recently graduated from USC and got a job in Louisiana where all you hear about is LSU. People can’t quite grasp the USC-Clemson rivalry down here. I feel like this would add some validity and national prominence to our rivalry. I’m all for it!

    This may be a stretch but my friend suggested another cool idea. He suggested that whichever team wins the game that year, we use that teams colors on the state flag and fly it above the state house all year. Again, it’s a stretch but it sounds fun.

    Anyway, I really like this palmetto statue and crescent moon idea. It’s too good to be true. I’m on board.


  95. You do realize the crescent on the flag is not a moon right? Do a little bit of research before publicly showing you didn’t receive an education.

    • The smallest bit of research, Jared, reveals that there is no consensus in the historical community on exactly what the crescent is. It could be a gorget, it could be the cadence of the second son and it could well be a moon. This has been addressed many times in this very comment thread. Mainly I have refrained from commenting on the subject because I have enjoyed the conversation it has generated, but after reading hundreds of comments, both poitive and negative on the matter, I have found yours to be the most odious I have seen. You, in the most condescending tone possible, ask if I know what the crescent is, EVEN AS YOU DEMONTRATE THAT YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT IS. You tell me to do my research, WHICH YOU HAVE NOT DONE. You condemn me for publicly showing a lack of education, WHILE DEMONSTRATING YOUR EDUCATION TO BE WANTING IN THIS MATTER. Dude, I have no idea what you hoped to accomplish here, but rest assured, your rude tone was noted and not appreciated.

  96. Here is the Wikipedia entry discussing our state flag, and that thing in the corner of it:


    There is no consensus on what it is, and the matter remains under (friendly) debate.

  97. amazing article that all real fans of the rivalry should read.

  98. I like the idea. As someone posted in the comments earlier, the removable moon could be vandalized, but I live the idea of bronze statues. I also like the idea of engraving them and the crystal palmettos as well.

    And can I just point out, being born and raised in south carolina, living here my entire life, and loving this state before any other, I have NEVER heard ANYONE (whether they were born here, a transplant, or just visiting) refer to what is on our flag as ANYTHING other than a moon.

    That being said, again I LOVE the ideas, and although I do like the ring of “big thursday”, maybe a nationally-recognized rivalry is just what our state needs!

  99. I think this is an awesome idea. I happen to know some very influentual folks at Clemson but if you want all to buy this idea…Let’s loose the Clemson hate tabs at the top of the page and decide just for this project to decide to work together. After that feel free to hate us as I am sure we will hate you too. It only seems like the right thing to do!!!

    • As always, any supports will be graciously accepted. I’m not taking the Clemson page down, but in the spirit of teamwork, I’ve changed the name to “Clemson fun”, which is about as big a concession as I can make to ensure the help of unnamed “very influential Folks”. I’d love to hear who you know and how they can help!

    • Rivalry week. I Changed my mind. Still waiting on your “very influential folks”. Yawn.

  100. All these Carolina fans in Columbia with the museum and nobody knows why there is a silver crescent on our flag?

    The crescent was adopted from Colonel William Moultrie’s army in which Francis Marion was a Captain. It was on there uniforms.

    The first thing that MOULTRIE had his officers do was to uniform
    themselves properly in blue coats with linings, facings and cuffs of
    red. Buttons were white, as were waistcoats and breeches. Their hats
    were to carry a silver cresent and a plum.
    Thus “Bluecoats”. A blue flag was assembled with its silver crescent
    and the word “Liberty” was affixed.

    The crescent is over thought….here is its historical meaning from the beginning of time(Egyptians).

    Crescent: One who has been honored by the sovereign; hope of greater glory

    I vote to move the big game back to Thursday and shut the whole state down Thursday an Friday but capitalism will never allow that.

    Go Tigers!!!!!!!!!!!

  101. An Alabama fan with gamecock friends–“F^%$ CLEMSON AND GO YOU BIG OL COCKS!!!!!

  102. I’m a Tiger and I love it! Also, my hub played football at Clemson and he didn’t know anything about it being called the Hardee’s trophy. So you can see the impression it makes…none.

  103. The moon should be blue..its neutral, the state flag color, and it depicts how rarely the Gamecocks will see it 🙂 GO TIGERS!

  104. Oh, Great!! “The MOONED Bowl!”

  105. I agree about the whole “it isn’t really a moon” idea, but I think it’s still a great idea. I teach, among many things, history at the museum and I constantly have to go through the whole background of the crescent – which is exactly what it is. Most people just say “the moon.” Honestly, as much as it pet peeves me that South Carolinians don’t know, I still think this would be a fantastic idea. I like the “Battle for the Carolina Moon” and I think it would be wise to put it inside the stadium. I think it should be placed by the flagpole at Williams-Brice. Where Sir Big Spur stands/near that. If it’s outside it will easily be vandalized and stolen.

  106. Call it the “Clash for the Crescent”

  107. First off, if your from South Carolina you should know some history about our flag. There is NO moon on the flag. It is a piece of armor worn on the neck of soldiers during the revolutionary war and before. Its called a “gorget”

    • Joey, first thing first: the word you intended to use in your opening line is “you’re”. This is a contraction of “you are”. “Your” is a word that shows possession.

      I am from South Carolina, and know all about the “gorget theory” about the device in the corner of our flag. I also know that there is no proof that it is indeed a gorget. In fact, many historians maintain that it is simply a device, the cadence of the second son. Congratulations for knowing a bit about our flag, but there is more to the story than you present here.

      Finally, manners cost nothing. Use them.

  108. From this point forward, we will be deleteing all comments regarding the history of the state flag. As has been stated ad nauseum in this thread, there remains no consensus in the historical community as to what that thing in the corner of our flag is, and no proof that it is a moon, a gorget, a device representing the cadence of the second son or any other thing.

    The comments recieved on this topic have nothing to do with the Rivalry proposal, and have been uniformly abusive. It is to my everlasting wonder that people have been so nasty on this subject.

  109. I love this idea. A palmetto moon trophy would be great.

  110. Perhaps Carolina/Clemson fans working together to accomplish a shared goal can inspire even Congress to work together for the common good!

  111. Great idea, love it. From a sculptors view point. The tree would have a massive stainless steel rod, or rods, welded inside and the whole thing would weigh close to a ton. The moon could be attached with a stainless steel rod that could be locked into the tree so that it could be moved easily..

  112. The Clash for the Crescent

  113. Whether or not people call it a moon, the description of the SC flag is palmetto and crescent, ie. crescent being a phase of the moon. As for the “Big Thursday”, that was just a history lesson on how the rivalry “used” to be, how it was recognized, how it was promoted. That ended a long time ago and has never had any classification since. I love the idea and am all for making it a reality. Let’s go, Gamecocks and Tigers! This is something both fans agree on so that makes it a good thing!!!

  114. Steven Vanderlip

    To whom it may concern,

    The Student Governments at both Clemson and the University of South Carolina have begun work on implementing this proposal as a concrete tradition in the rivalry. Although it’s still very much nascent, both Athletic Departments, from our talks with them, seem very interested in the idea and we are keen to carry it through. If whoever wrote this post could contact me at xxxxxxx with the petition that is currently being circulated as well as any other insight you might have, that’d be a great resource for us.

    Steven Vanderlip

  115. I LOVE the clash for the crescent! its fitting for the idea, and it also doesn’t perpetuate the misconception that the crescent is a moon (It’s not). So its accurate and awesome! Im picturing a Bronze palmetto tree out my dorm window across the street at death valley now…

  116. I think we should have a trophy thats indicative of our football and military heritage. But heck,we cant even get Clemson and USC on the deck of the Yorktown.

  117. Why not the golden palm leaf, or that V the bark makes lets gold one of those and put in on a stand, or we can have a secession scroll, a musket, the swamp fox trophy, the calhoun coat, the colbert head, the ellington award, the chris rock, The andy dick award…numerous SC based trophy ideas

  118. Battle for the Crescent? Sounds like a Muslim thing.

    • I promise you that the vast majority of South Carolinians will understand that phrase as a reference to their state flag. I should also clearly state that I have no problem with any Jihad declared against Clemson

  119. I literally have had this same idea for years! Could this actually be done?

  120. IT IS A GORGET, NOT A MOON. Creative idea, though

  121. At the risk of being a buzz-kill, I’d suggest that the game should be moved to earlier in the season, to get it out of the way. I’ve been a fan/alumnus for more than three decades, and honestly, I’m sick of this meaningless battle. It hasn’t been relevant since USC joined the SEC, other than for local bragging rights. We have much bigger fish to fry in the SEC, so why do we still allow this team from a second-rate conference to be such an obsession? Dabo has dismissed us as NOT being USC, CAROLINA or (apparently) any team that he recognizes, despite our four consecutive wins. Fine, so let’s cut him loose to pursue his own second-rate titles, and focus on more important things!!!!

  122. Sorry to be a corrector, but it’s not a moon. Very common misconception. It’s a crescent shape. Not a moon.

    • Merritt, in the comments above there is a ton of discussion on the point you make. But that’s not why I’m replying. I’m replying because we know each other, and now that you know you know me, but don’t know who I am, you’re going to be racking your brain trying to figure out who I could possibly be. Mwahahahahahaha. 🙂

  123. Respectfully, can traditions for either of our teams (our rivalry) be manufactured like this? I fear — like new Christmas specials that want to become annual viewing rituals — our time to have gotten something done like this is long past.

    Would not almost any move that ALL of us could think of and agree upon be any less manufactured (contrived) than what we have at present.

    I am sympathetic to your intelligent points of view. Sorry for being incredulous that anything “new” could somehow rebrand our storied rivalry.

    • More football traditions are created than you may think. Just off the top of my head, the “terrible towels” of the Pittsburgh Steelers were a radio station promotion. The right attempt at starting a new tradition will stick. A bad one won’t. I think we have a good one here.

  124. As a native of SC having had SC history growing up I am almost certain that we were taught that the battle for Ft. Sumter took place under the cresent moon and that this is why the cresent moon is on our flag. Is there also a debate about the Palmetto? Certainly the facts on this matter can be verified.

    • Yeah it’s not a crescent moon. Thought to be but not –

      However, there is much debate about the significance of the crescent. In 1775 Colonel William Moultrie was asked by the ‘Revolutionary Council of Safety’ to design a flag for the South Carolina troops. In his memoirs, Colonel Wiliam Moultrie tells us: “A little time after we were in possession of Fort Johnson, it was thought necessary to have a flag for the purpose of signals: (as there was no national or state flag at that time) I was desired by the council of safety to have one made, upon which, as the state troops were clothed in blue, and the fort was garrisoned by the first and second regiments, who wore a silver crescent on the front of their caps; I had a large blue flag made with a crescent in the dexter corner, to be in uniform with the troops….”

      Nothing more than a military insignia.

  125. just bring back big thursday that would be amazing


  127. The moon on the flag is not in fact a moon. It is an ancient heraldry symbol.

    …that no one in SC cares about. The Palmetto Tree has historical significance that SC students are taught in grade school. The moon? Let it be a moon, who cares if it originally meant something else. It is a symbol of our state, it is of the citizens of the state – along with those outside who observe the flag – to determine it’s significance.

  128. It’s actually not a crescent “moon” just a crescent, that was worn on the revolutionary officers. Decent idea though.

  129. The Crescent Bowl. And what a great idea!

  130. I like the idea, but a giant bronze palmetto tree would look gaudy on either campus. Clemson already has the bronze tiger out front of Death Valley, I think two statues might be too much. Also, the crescent on the flag is not a moon.

  131. Here’s just a quick suggestion: If this is going to happen, I’d suggest making the moon out of something other than bronze. Make it large, shiny, iconic.

  132. “Palmetto Pride Bowl” or “Pride of the Palmetto”

  133. Well, you got your wish. The Hardees Trophy is gone. Step one accomplished.

  134. “The Crescent Bowl – The Battle for the Plametto State”.

  135. I’m sure there’s a contract on the Hardee’s trophy though….

  136. There is no moon on our flag. It is a gorget, a piece of armor which protects the throat.

  137. except that the “moon” is not a moon. please read history of the crescent.

  138. What about the “Palmetto Pride Bowl” – battle fOr the Carolina Moon. Still do the statues with removable moon.

  139. Reblogged this on thelivingstoneblog and commented:
    I’m not a South Carolina or Clemson fan, but this is a pretty good idea.

  140. I shared this with #themoonbowl. Can’t sign petition, it’s closed.

  141. Good idea, especially for the trophy. But your presentation is too long. People won’t read it all. Start trying to edit and shorten it. JMHO

  142. I like the name “The Bronze Bowl” the two teams can battle for the bronze on game days and it just sounds eloquent. That should put a hush on the moon or crescent debate and leaves no room for historical blunders. Bronze Bowl is fitting. At the end of each game the winner could either be “bringing the bronze back” or boasy the bronze for another year. It simply is a great compromise and great choice.

  143. Call the game “Shoot for the Moon”

  144. “Battle for the Moonshine”

  145. I don’t know how I stumbled upon this article, but I noticed the petition was closed. I hope you will bring this idea back to life!

  146. Terrance Singleton

    How about only the winning team gets to wear the Palmetto Tree and Crescent Moon on their helmet, jersey and field for a year while the losing team cannot.

  147. Anyone know of a way to reinvigorate this? Do we need to restart the petition? With the game approaching, I think of the Hardee’s Trophy and shake my head. It is like a really bad joke. Our rivalry is heated, we can gain plenty of support. Let’s try this again…

  148. Create a crowdfunding page – you’ll make some money

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